Fake Sophos sponsored advert on Flickr

Christoph Hardy, a keen photographer and a colleague of mine from Sophos’s offices in Germany, noticed something strange when uploading some pictures on Flickr yesterday.

As he searched for Sophos pictures on Flickr, he noticed on the right hand side a sponsored advert (supplied by Overture, part of Yahoo’s advertising empire) claiming to be for Sophos Anti-Virus.

Sponsored advert pretending to be for Sophos Anti-Virus

Hmm.. that domain it’s linking to looks a bit suspicious doesn’t it? Fortunately the domains it links to (via Overture) are already blocked by Sophos products, so customers who are using our web appliance should be protected from whatever nasty might be lurking there.

At the moment the program at the end of the link is AdwareAlert2009, not Sophos Anti-Virus. Seeing as it’s a pretty underhand tactic to advertise Sophos when it’s not Sophos, don’t be surprised if what you eventually download surprises you..

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of thing happening. Last September I reported how hackers were luring unsuspecting users to a Trojan horse by advertising it on Google as Norton AntiVirus.

Thanks to Christoph for bringing this to my attention. We’re filing a complaint to Yahoo.